What's new tonight:
Chuck (NBC) Season Premiere: Not only does the Season 4 kickoff have Terminator's Linda Hamilton (as budding super spy Chuck's mom), but also The Daily Show/Attack of the Show's Olivia Munn and Big Love's Harry Dean Stanton. Did I mention Olivia Munn? Did I? Did I?! (New promo video below)
Mike & Molly, Hawaii 5-0 (CBS) Series Debuts: I was too hard on The CW’s Hellcats two weeks ago: Mike & Molly is the worst new show of the season. A fat schoolteacher (Melissa McCarthy) and a fatter cop (Billy Gardell) meet-cute at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting; oppressive laugh track and little-to-no hilarity ensues. It’s not that America isn’t ready for a plus-size comedy; it’s that America doesn’t need another “comedy” churned out by sitcom hacks who haven’t had a new idea since 1995. Speaking of “new” ideas: Eventually, Hawaii 5-0 could set the bar for TV remakes—but for now, it’ll have to settle for “less lame than CSI: Miami.” Did I mention Grace Park fightin' crime in a bikini? Did I? Did I?!
The Event, Chase (NBC) Series Debuts: NBC offers up two answers to years of cheaping-out with reality crapola and Jay Leno instead of investing in scripted fare—one’s too safe, the other’s balls-out dense. The Event is a sprawling conspiracy thriller that channels FlashForward (time-jumping storyline!), 24 (good-lookin’ black president with a secret!) and Gilmore Girls (well, Luke from the diner finally got a job!) and ends up being almost as good as its adrenalized promos. Chase is Jerry Bruckheimer’s 168th TV crime procedural, this time about U.S. Marshals. Guess which is which, and now guess which one will be the hit.
House (Fox) Season Premiere: House and Cuddy finally give into their "feelings" this season, which of course will be not-at-all disruptive to the hospital and any edge-of-death patients.
Lone Star (Fox) Series Debut: Sure, The Event might be complex, but Lone Star is capital-C Complex: Bob Allen (James Wolk) is a Houston suit married to the daughter of a zillionaire Texas oil baron (Jon Voight)—and as soon as he’s in with the father-in-law’s company, he’s going to rob it blind. Meanwhile, Robert Allen (Wolk, again) is a bootstrap good ol’ boy in the west Texas town of Midland, with a sweet girlfriend and the trust (and financial investments) of the local townsfolk—whom he’s also going to rob blind. Imagine his father/scam mentor’s (David Keith) dismay when Bob/Robert suddenly decides that he wants out of the thievery game, to settle down and actually live these lives—both of ’em. Lone Star is the most ambitious (dramatically and visually) new show of the season; enough with the lazy Dallas comparisons already.
Castle (ABC) Season Premiere: Rick Castle is framed for murder! Or is he guilty? Oh, what do you think?
Also new tonight:
Dancing With the Stars (ABC) Season Premiere
How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Two & a Half Men (CBS) Season Premieres
90210, Gossip Girl (The CW)
Weeds, The Big C (Showtime)
Top Gear (BBC America)
The Chuck-tastic Season 4 promo: